Lake Manapouri's Pomona Island community project
- essential trap replacement work done thanks to the Gary Chisholm Family Trust of Christchurch
Sunday 7 September 2008 provided the ideal weather for the 15 volunteers who turned out to help the Pomona Island Charitable Trust — a little over-cast and not too hot for the hard work that followed. Volunteers were split up into lots of smaller groups with six people spending the day on Pomona checking and exchanging traps. Another two spent the day on Rona Island with the rest working at various locations on the mainland.
Volunteer Reg Calder setting a new DOC 150 trap on the mainland to protect the islands.
“Everyone worked extremely hard and we managed to achieve just about everything on our long list” said John Whitehead, at the time Chair of the Pomona Island Trust. As a result most tunnels on Pomona now have brand new DOC 150 stoat traps in place to catch any stoat that does manage to swim out to the island. “Unfortunately on the day some traps just did not want to play ball, with gremlins sneaking into the manufacturing process to make some of the screw holes too small” observed John Wryly. The holes were enlarged and these traps fitted during the next trap check.
All the new traps fitted perfectly in the tunnels on all three of the mainland trap lines. “These trap lines play a very important role in keeping Pomona and Rona Islands free of pests” explained Vivienne Shaw, current Chair of the Pomona Trust “as they provide a first line of defence. A stoat caught in a mainland trap can’t swim across to the islands!”
All of this work would not have been possible without a generous donation from the Gary Chisholm Family Trust of Christchurch. Gary had heard about the restoration of Pomona Island through the Fiordland Conservation Trust and was keen to sponsor pest eradication work in Fiordland. The trap replacement project on Pomona provided the perfect opportunity for Gary and his family to fund a community-based initiative.